Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Today we pause to reflect on the 96 years of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. I recall standing in the unbelievably small cell on Robben Island where Mandela spent so many solitary years. From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. Today it is a World Heritage Site and museum, a poignant reminder  of the price paid for freedom. Looking toward shore from the island, I could glimpse Table Mountain in the distance. So near and yet so far. Although not much of a souvenir collector, I brought back two copies of the key to Mandela's prison cell: One for me and one for Dr. Sharlet Briggs. I agree. There likely will not be another Nelson Mandela, no other brain that could accomplish what he managed to accomplish and in the way he accomplished it. I have a favorite quote of his, also:  “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

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